The Professor Kasin Suvatabhandhu Herbarium, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University is one of the oldest herbaria in Thailand. The herbarium was founded in 1960, but was officially opened to the general public on April 1 st , 1982. It was named in honour of Professor Kasin Suvatabhandhu, a faculty member of the Department of Botany, who had dedicated much of his life to plant taxonomic research.
At present, the Professor Kasin Suvatabhandhu Herbarium is listed under the code “BCU” in the Index Herbariorum, a global directory of 3,990 herbaria (as of September 2019). The code is used as a standard for referring to the institution and its specimens. The Herbarium has provided local and foreign students and researchers with plant identification, voucher specimen and specimen preparation services as well as information on plant species.
A herbarium is like a library of plants. It carries information on plant species and, most importantly, stores systematically named and arranged plant specimens. Herbarium specimens
can be pressed and/or dried samples, preserved plants in spirit, pollen and spores samples, photos, illustrations, slides, reports, book volumes on taxonomy, ecology, natural science, economic botany and pharmaceutical botany and so on.
The Herbarium’s main mission is to collect plant specimens and create Thailand’s botanical database in order to support learning and research within the department and beyond. Specimens have been collected and prepared by the Department’s faculty as well as the personnel and students from the Plants of Thailand Research Unit.
The Herbarium holds more than 26,000 specimens, including 16,000 flowering plants, 5,000 ferns and related groups, 1,000 bryophytes, 550 lichens and 600 algae. 3000 more specimens are under preparation and
will soon be included in the Herbarium’s collection.
The Department’s faculty, personnel and students from the Plants of Thailand Research Unit have travelled all over Thailand to explore plant species and collect valuable plant specimens over the past decades. Some specimens are rare and near extinction; some are found to be new records for Thailand and/or new species for the world. These represent a new body of knowledge which is beneficial to research on plant taxonomy, as well as an important
database for botanical studies in Thailand. Establishing an online botanical database with information on new records/species discovered by the faculty and personnel at the Department of Botany, Chulalongkorn University can help facilitate the knowledge transfer among the wider public and demonstrate the university’s biodiversity research capacity.